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17th TSM-Workshop, Successful Supply Chain Monitoring: IT Monitors, People Decide

17. TSM-Workshop

On Wednesday, 11th October 2022, the 17th edition of the TSM workshop took place at the bbw Hochschule University of Applied Sciences Berlin - with the support of the Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e.V. (BME). Once again, the focus was on the question of how industrial manufacturers can get a grip on the risks in their supplier base and maintain an overview. Especially in times of crisis, it is important to recognise delays and failures in the supply chains in good time.

In his opening lecture, host Prof. Robert Dust presented the Total Supplier Management (TSM) tool he has developed - a scientifically based supplier risk management methodology. "Companies have enough IT systems and data, but they have often lost track of the risks," Dust said. This is where the preventive, cross-functional TSM system comes in, which monitors all suppliers and all relevant risks.

Tobias Popp, Head of Global Purchasing - Supplier Management & Projects at Wittenstein SE, showed how this works in practice. The manufacturer of mechatronic drives and servo systems has been using the TSM system since 2017, and it was implemented within 9 months. TSM and the associated software are used to promptly identify critical suppliers among Wittenstein's 600 active suppliers. In interdisciplinary steering committees, the decision-makers from the purchasing, quality, logistics and production departments take appropriate measures for supplier development. In this way, Wittenstein increased its delivery reliability from 60 to 95% within 4 months and has kept this level stable for 3 years.

Martin Grastat, Managing Director of TSM Supply Bridge GmbH, presented the supporting software solution in detail. He emphasised that it was necessary to monitor the entire supplier base in a total approach and not just the top 50 - this would fall short. What is important is a centralised system like TSM, which brings together and consolidates the various data sources "to create a knowledge base that enables better decisions in terms of supplier development".

Hannes Neuwirth from bht University of Applied Sciences Berlin spoke about how the methods of "Sustainable Supply Chain Management" enable continuous monitoring of a sustainable supply chain. Neuwirth developed these methods in his Master's thesis. Sustainability is still seen too much as a complexity and cost driver. The focus should be on the opportunities of sustainability monitoring. Neuwirth named key indicators with which this could be done, such as the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix of companies, the competitiveness of salaries or the accident frequency rate.

In the closing lecture, Burkhard Rose-Mende, Managing Director of TÜV NORD IT Secure Communications GmbH & Co. KG, spoke about cyber security in the digital transformation. The aim of companies should be to strengthen their supply chain resilience in IT security as well, because cyber risks are increasing from year to year. According to Rose-Mende, criminals loot a total of 24 billion euros a year - in Germany alone - via IT attacks in connection with ransomware. It is important to take preventive action and to be able to manage attacks with suitable IT technologies and experts in order to guarantee the operational capability of supply chains.

The next TSM workshop will take place on 23rd March 2023 in Berlin.

Author: Bruno Lukas, 14th October 2022, Berlin

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